USSSA Space Coast Complex open for business
After nearly a year of construction, the new USSSA Space Coast Complex — with its 15 state-of-the-art AstroTurf fields — is open for business.
VIERA VOICE Courtesy USSSA and Carl Kotala
When Mary Bennett pulled into the parking lot of the new United States Specialty Sports Association Space Coast Complex, her reaction was immediate.
“It’s a gorgeous complex,” she said. “Absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never seen anything like it. The turf field is beautiful.
“My first impression was, ‘Wow.’ ”
Bennett, who is from Seffner, was on hand to watch her daughter, Zeta, play last month in the 14U division of the USA Elite Select fastpitch Top Gun Challenger — the first event hosted at the new USSSA Space Coast Complex.
Once the spring training home of the Washington Nationals, construction on 15 state-of-the-art, AstroTurf fields began nearly a year ago.
Now, after all that time, effort and careful planning, the new USSSA complex is open for business.
“From a staff perspective, and leadership, it was great to be able to look out the third- and fourth-floor windows and see cars in the parking lot and moms and dads and athletes walking through the fields and playing on the fields,” said USSSA Space Coast Complex General Manager Kevin Reynolds.
“You put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears and long hours and meetings, and to get to that point … it kind of gives you goosebumps. Everyone felt that, which is great. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why you do it, to put a smile on athlete’s faces and give them a first-class facility.”
The plan is to have more than 50 events this year at the new complex, which also is the home to the USSSA Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch League, and where the Viera High baseball and softball teams will play their home games this season — for free.
As with any new venue, of course, there will be adjustments that need to be made on the fly. On the first day of the Top Gun Challenger, for instance, it was noted that there was only one gate open. By the second day, there were two, easing the flow of traffic throughout the facility.
Reynolds said he has told his staff to treat 2018 as “test and repeat,” meaning there will be times when plans need to be modified, just like with any new business in its first year of operation.
“Test and repeat,” Reynolds said. “Make sure that on Day One, if we hear anything that’s an issue, we want to be flexible enough to make those changes the next day so they can see (the changes) immediately.
“If we wait for the next tournament to come back, that’s too long, in my eyes, and in the team’s eyes.”
The year’s first major event at the complex will take place Presidents Day Weekend, when baseball’s Super NIT event will be held with more than 102 teams and more than 4,000 players, coaches and spectators expected to be in town.
“Having those 15 fields going for us is going to be a huge learning curve,” Reynolds said. “Because starting June 20 to … mid-August, we’re seven days a week, 15 fields every day.”
Upcoming events at the USSSA Space Coast Complex
16-19 — Presidents Day Super NIT
18 — USA Elite Select/Futures Tryout
2-4 — GSL Softball Spring World Championship
9-11 — Stars vs. Stripes
16-18 — USSSA Pride Camp
19-22 — USSSA Hall of Fame Classic
27-29 — Spring Classic Select 30 — Super NIT